Leonardo DiCaprio forms racing team to help speed up electric car sales

Leonardo DiCaprio

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is to enter a team in the new electric motor racing championship Formula E.

He has co-founded a Monaco-based team with Gildo Pallanca Pastor, owner of electric carmaker Venturi Automobiles.

Formula E racing starts next year, with the declared aim of giving a boost to the electric vehicle market.

The actor, an environmental campaigner, said: "The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles."

Among several companies investing in Formula E are Renault, McLaren, chassis-maker Dallara, and US technology group Qualcomm, Michelin, and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin group.

The racing series will compete in 10 of the world's leading cities including Beijing, Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires, Berlin and London.

The championship is intending to showcase electric car technology and speed up development and innovation amongst manufacturers.

It has the backing of motorsport's governing body, the FIA, and also the European Commission, which has pressed the motorsport industry to do more to promote electric cars and make them more appealing.

In the first year, the teams will compete in cars with the same specifications. After that, manufacturers will be encouraged to enter their own specially built cars.

DiCaprio's Venturi outfit is the 10th team to announce it is entering the series.

Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E Holdings, said DiCaprio's involvement would boost the championship's profile and interest in electric vehicles.

"Very few environmental leaders have helped more than him to spread the message of sustainability around the world," he said.

"Having people like him and Richard Branson - global ambassadors for the environment - is a privilege for our Championship and will greatly help us to spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    NETWORK RAIL 09:54:
    work

    The Office of Rail Regulation says Network Rail, which owns manages rail infrastructure like track, missed its target on cost savings in the five years to March 2014. It cut costs by 15.5% that was less that its target of 23.5%. That means even stiffer targets for the next five years.

     
  2.  
    ROYAL MAIL 09:44:
    Royal Mail shares

    Royal Mail shares have risen almost 4% this morning. They have been helped by a positive report from the bank UBS. It has removed its "sell" rating on the shares. Royal Mail shares are trading at 407p today but that's down by third from January when they hit a high of 615p.

     
  3.  
    LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY 09:35:

    Labour productivity was unchanged in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, and 0.3% lower than a year earlier, according to the Office of National Statistics. The UK has been troubled by low productivity for years and it is something that the Bank of England is watching closely as it mulls the timing of a rise in interest rates.

     
  4.  
    PARIS MOTOR SHOW 09:22:
    Paris Motor Show 2014

    This should be good. Our coverage of the Paris Motor Show starts on Thursday. The BBC's Theo Leggett and Russell Hotten will be there. Visit BBC Business for news, insight and analysis.

     
  5.  
    PARIS MOTOR SHOW 09:07: Radio 5 live
    Paris Motor Show 2014

    The Paris Motor Show opens today. Maxime Picat, chief executive of the Peugeot brand, is on Radio 5 live. He trumpets "impressive" growth in China where Peugeot is the fastest-growing car maker. But, he concedes that electric cars have been disappointing. He doesn't expect significant expansion of that market until the 2020s.

     
  6.  
    SUPERMARKETS 08:56:

    Supermarkets are now the top three losers on the FTSE 100.

     
  7.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 08:52: Via Email John Ibbotson, Director, Retail Vision

    "With these results, it's increasingly clear Mike Coupe took the hospital pass just like Philip Clarke. Who needs Sainsbury's, or Waitrose even, when you can get £9.99 Beluga Caviar at Aldi?"

     
  8.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:33:

    London's FTSE 100 benchmark index fell 0.15% to 6,613.03 points, led lower by supermarket Morrisons, which has dipped 2.9%.

     
  9.  
    MOD CONTRACT 08:28:
    HMS Daring

    It's the second biggest defence contract placed by the government. The MoD has awarded £3.2bn of contracts to run naval bases and maintain warships and submarines. Babcock wins £2.6bn to run Devonport and Clyde, BAE Systems gets £600m to manage Portsmouth Naval Base. Around 7,500 are employed to support 56 warships.

     
  10.  
    FRANCE BUDGET 08:15:
    Michel Sapin

    France's finance minister, Michel Sapin, has been presenting the nation's 2015 budget. He says the budget deficit will meet the European Union's target by 2017. France has made such promises before and then been forced to backtrack. Mr Sapin forecast a gradual economic recovery, with growth on 1.0% next year. Mr Sapin.

     
  11.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:02:

    After early gains, in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 index closed 0.6% lower at 16,082. Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for a holiday. A report indicated modest expansion for China's manufacturing sector. The official purchasing managers' index for September came in at 51.1. Numbers above 50 suggest expansion.

     
  12.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:52: Radio 5 live

    Tesco is in trouble over mis-stating its profits, how about Sainsbury's? Well Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive is "100% confident about the integrity of the accounts". He should know - he was finance director before becoming the boss.

     
  13.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:46: Radio 5 live

    It is the most challenging environment in the supermarket industry for 30 years says Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive on Radio 5 live. There is food price deflation for the first time in a generation. Potatoes and milk are 20% cheaper from a year ago. That means customers on average are £5 a week better off he says.

     
  14.  
    CO-OP BANK ETHICS 07:34: BBC Radio 4

    Laura Carstensen, chair of Co-op Bank's Values and Ethics Committee is talking about the lender's new advertisement campaign. A man gets a tattoo about his commitment to Co-op's ethics. What does a fake tattoo say about the company's commitment to ethics, asks presenter Justin Rowlatt? Customers are savvy enough to understand the message, she says.

     
  15.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 07:26: BBC Breakfast
    BBC

    The minimum wage is most commonly paid in the hospitality, retail and care industries says Charlotte O'Brien a lawyer from York Law School on Breakfast. Many workers who think they are being paid less than minimum wage cannot afford to take their employer to an employment tribunal, she says. That's because they now have to pay £390 for a tribunal - or 60 hours work at £6.50 an hour.

     
  16.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:21: BBC Radio 4
    CEO

    "It wouldn't be surprising in any business for us to try to sell more," says Sainsbury's chief Mike Coupe. He's talking about that gaffe earlier in the week, where a Sainsbury's store placed a motivational poster encouraging staff to get customers to spend an extra 50p in store, in the shop window. It was a simple mistake, he says.

     
  17.  
    HEADLINES
    • Tesco to be investigated by FCA over profit warning
    • Sainsbury's reports third quarter of falling sales
    • MOD awards £3.2bn naval base contracts
     
  18.  
    SAINSBURY'S BOSS 07:18: BBC Radio 4

    Mike Coupe is doing his first broadcast interview of the day on Today. In the last few months things have changed in the industry, he says. Customers are changing how they shop, he says. Is he worried about the fact Sainsbury's is the most short-sold (bet-against) stock on the FTSE 100, asks presenter Justin Rowlatt? "I'm a very calm individual," he says.

     
  19.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 07:11:

    Sainsbury's is not expecting sales to pick up in the rest of the financial year. Chief executive Mike Coupe says "we now expect our like-for-like sales in the second half of they year to be similar to the first half".

     
  20.  
    TESCO PROBE 07:05: Breaking News

    The Financial Conduct Authority will conduct a "full investigation" into Tesco's £250m overstatement of profits, the supermarket said.

     
  21.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 07:00: Breaking News

    Sainsbury's has reported a 2.8% decline in like-for-like sales in the second quarter, excluding fuel. That's the third consecutive quarter of falling sales.

     
  22.  
    CO-OP BANK ETHICS 06:45: Radio 5 live

    Oh dear. The chair of Co-operative Bank's ethical board, Laura Carstensen appears on Wake Up to Money. She can't name a single country with an oppressive regime that the bank has declined to do business with. She also does not want to talk about the bank's private equity owners, but says all investors realise that the bank's ethical values are what makes it different. Co-op bank launches an advertising campaign today to publicise its ethics.

     
  23.  
    SAINSBURY'S RESULTS 06:34: BBC Radio 4
    Sainsbury's store

    Sainsbury's releases results at 07:00. Sales are expected to be down 4%, says Bryan Roberts, from Kantar Retail on the Today programme. "What it reflects is we are in a zero-growth market. The pie isn't getting any bigger. Aldi and Lidl aggressively expanded in the South East and London," he says.

     
  24.  
    PENSIONS 06:28: Radio 5 live

    "People are getting it," says Tim Jones the chief executive of National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) on Wake Up to Money. It's been two years since the government launched automatic enrolment for workplace pension schemes. Only 8% of people are opting out, but a quarter of those aged between 60 and 65 are not taking up the offer. "Older folks are thinking it's too late," says Mr Jones.

     
  25.  
    DOLLAR YEN 06:19: Radio 5 live
    yen

    The dollar has hit a six-year high against the yen, trading above 110 yen. On Wake Up to Money the BBC's Rico Hizon says that there are expectations that the Bank of Japan will further ease monetary policy. Currency traders are also looking ahead to Friday's US employment report, which should give an indication of the strength of the US economy.

     
  26.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:11: Radio 5 live

    Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses says the raise in the minimum wage is still "realistic". But he wants a longer-term view of the wage. On Wake Up to Money he complains that business only gets six months notice of changes. He would like to the level to be set for a whole parliament.

     
  27.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:03: Radio 5 live
    Hand pennies

    From today the minimum wage rises 3% to £6.50. Conor D'Arcy, Policy Analyst at Resolution Foundation welcomes the move, until this raise the minimum wage was worth the same as it was in 2005, he says on Wake Up to Money.

     
  28.  
    06:01: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning. You can email us at bizlive@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbusiness.

     
  29.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning everyone. This morning we are expecting an update from Sainsbury's on how trading has gone for them. The National Minimum Wage annual increase also takes effect, rising by 19p an hour to £6.50. Stay with us for more breaking news and analysis.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.